James and Dennis Richard's Bonapaw, who finished sixth behind Caller One in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), makes his stateside return in a command performance in the $150,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap July 4 as the Iowa Festival of Racing rolls into day two at Prairie Meadows.
Bonapaw, a 6-year-old son of Sabona--Pawlova, by Nijinsky, is the 123-pound highweight as he tries for a repeat in the six-furlong Iowa Sprint Handicap, and will face just four rivals, including Men's Exclusive, who finished fourth in Dubai. Bonapaw, a winner of 14 of 30 career starts, including nine stakes, is trained by Howard Alonzo and will be ridden by regular rider Gerald Melancon.
In his two 2002 starts before trying the world's best sprinters in Dubai, Bonapaw won back-to-back stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans: the Colonel Power Handicap and the Taylor's Special Handicap. He won the later race while under 125 pounds.
In last year's Iowa Sprint Handicap, he won by 4 1/4 lengths over Sand Ridge, a rival he'll face again on Thursday. Sand Ridge, a 7-year-old gelding who will be ridden by Ken Shino, will carry 117 pounds.
Second in the weights is Hartsel Reed's Men's Exclusive at 120. Trained by Wesley Ward, Men's Exclusive was 5 1/4 lengths behind Caller One in the Golden Shaheen on March 23, and has made one U.S. start since then, a runner-up effort behind Full Moon Madness in the Valiant Pete Handicap at Santa Anita back on April 19. A winner of the Vernon O. Underwood Handicap (gr. III) last year at Hollywood Park, Men's Exclusive is a 9-year-old by Exclusive Ribot, out of the Meneval mare Men's Number. The millionaire gelding be ridden by Martin Pedroza.
Iowa Sprint Handicap, $150,000, six furlongs, 3-year-olds and up
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Morning Line
1--Boots on Sunday, Roman Chapa, 115, 6-1
2--Sand Ridge, Ken Shino, 117, 5-2
3--Medium Rare, Terry Thompson, 115, 8-1
4--Bonapaw, Gerard Melancon, 123, 7-5
5--Men's Exclusive, Martin Pedroza, 120, 2-1